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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Philosopher of the month: Swami Vivekānanda [timeline] | OUPblog

This June, the OUP Philosophy team honors Swami Vivekānanda (born Narendranath Datta, 1863–1902) as their Philosopher of the Month inform Catherine Pugh, Marketing Assistant at Oxford University Press in Oxford, England and John Priest, Marketing Assistant at Oxford University Press in New York.

Photo: Swami Vivekananda Statue in Vivekananda House, Chennai. Photo by Balamurugan Srinivasan. CC-BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.

Born in Calcutta under colonial rule, Vivekānanda became a Hindu religious leader, and one of the most prominent disciples of guru and mystic Śri Rāmakṛṣṇa. After delivering a highly regarded speech as the Hindu delegate to the Chicago World Parliament of Religions in 1893, Vivekānanda gained worldwide recognition. His ideas were so well received that in 1895 he established the Vedānta Society in New York, before returning to India to found the Ramakrishna Mission. Vivekānanda inspired a newfound pride in the hearts of Hindus as his non-dualistic, Advaita Vedānta philosophy helped spread the spiritual traditions of India to the Christian West.

Narendranath Datta was born to Kayastha family, members of a scribe caste customarily employed in government service. Educated to become a lawyer, he completed law school at the Metropolitan Institution in 1886. Narendranath met Rāmakṛṣṇa after joining the Brahmo Samaj Hindu reform movement, and after eventually undergoing a powerful religious experience, became an ascetic disciple. When Rāmakṛṣṇa died in 1886, Narendranath traveled across India on foot, spreading his interpretation of Rāmakṛṣṇa’s teachings.

Source: OUPblog (blog)